I remember being in a career where I dreaded Mondays. And I recall hitting the snooze alarm repeatedly, not wanting to get out of bed to go to work at the bank. I remember having such terrible back pain that I’d get spasms while walking to work. My body was literally seizing up. I couldn’t walk while on my way to the bank. Can you tell I wasn’t thrilled with my career?
I was successful but I wasn’t satisfied. I always had the niggling feeling that there was something more fulfilling that I could do with my career. But I didn’t know what that was. So, I went to a head-hunter. I was sent on interviews with more banking and financial institutions. Thankfully, I didn’t get a new job that would have been equally unfulfilling. Instead, I met a life coach at a personal development course in New York City. The life coach talked me into doing some coaching with him. I was highly skeptical and reluctant. To get him off my back, I said yes to one month but only at a discount. He agreed, we started coaching and it changed my life.
I loved being coached. And I could immediately see the difference it made in my life. I was promoted, put in place boundaries at work, hired a house cleaner, and got a weekly massage. It was my first coach, Thom, who convinced me to become a coach. He also insisted that I create a two-year cash reserve before I quit my banking career to coach full-time. This enabled me to quit with no money worries and no debts. I took time off to write my first book, Coach Yourself to Success, which was one of the best things I have done in my life.
I left my career in banking and have been coaching, speaking and writing ever since. For over 25 years now, I have lived and am living my ideal dream life. I have a big lovely house by the sea and the family, friends, and travel I dreamed of having. I’ve never hit the snooze alarm. In fact, I rarely use an alarm clock. I bounce out of bed in the morning excited about what the day has in store for me. I am excited about the work that I am very privileged to do and the amazing clients I have the honor of supporting and encouraging as they work on huge goals and projects. None of this would have happened without making a career change from banking to life coaching and taking that leap of faith.
When I started coach training, I made the change based on the advice of my coach. But now, I have found sophisticated state-of-the-art career assessments that take the guesswork out of much of this decision making. We have the tools to know what your innate abilities and strengths are. And these tools can discover your inner hidden motivators and values.
You don’t have to struggle to figure this out on your own. If I could have taken the Career Change Kit 25 years ago when I was thinking of changing careers, I would have learned that I have the natural ability to speak, to coach and to write. It would have given me the confidence to embark on the career change knowing that I was heading in a direction that would leverage my natural talents and that it would be likely to be not only enjoyable but also deeply fulfilling and rewarding.
True, not everyone will necessarily be as lucky as me to find work that not only pays well, but also matches one’s talents and natural abilities. But it is at least worth finding out if there is such a career or possibility to create that new career yourself. At the time I wrote my ideal job description, there was no such thing as a life coaching job you could apply for. It was all brand new. I was one of the first coaches to train the first wave of new coaches 25 years ago. We were making up the course syllabus as we went along. Everything was completely new and those were very fun and exciting times. Now, everyone and their brother is calling themselves a coach, many with only a weekend training course under their belt.
It may be possible for you to invent the next great profession, designed around your unique talents and abilities and passion. What are you waiting for? Get rid of that stressful job and find one that you really love instead. But, don’t quit until you have the new career lined up!